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House of Commons Hansard #147 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was crown.

Topics

Government PoliciesOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I hope the hon. member will not get too carried away with his own rhetoric. This is more than just about electioneering for him. He is an economist. He should be honest with Canadians and he should put the facts forward. If he disagrees, at least he should do so on the facts instead of overblown rhetoric.

I encourage my friend opposite to assist in making the tax system better and making our economy better instead of just these cheap shots at government. That does not help.

Government PoliciesOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, a fund manager said that the supposedly Conservative government was the most anti-business government in 20 years; that it was the biggest spending government in history; that it was a government that has raised income tax; that it has driven income trusts into foreign hands; that it insults China and ignores India; and that it has launched a policy which has the logical conclusion of driving every head office job from the land.

What is worse, a government with conservative principles or a government with no principles at all?

Government PoliciesOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it would take a long time to get the facts straight with the Cassandra-like croakings opposite, but let us talk about what we have done for businesses.

We have reduced corporate tax rates. We have eliminated the corporate surtax and the federal capital tax. We have changed the capital cost allowance rates to better align them with the useful life of assets. We are dealing with tax avoidance and tax unfairness so we can have a lower, fairer tax system for every business so that Canadian businesses will continue to be competitive. I would hope the hon. member would be supportive of those things.

Income TrustsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are becoming increasingly alarmed by the Conservatives' laissez-faire attitude to the sale of Canada's important companies.

The CEO of Manulife said yesterday to his shareholders, “I sometimes worry that we may all wake up one day and find that as a nation, we have lost control of our affairs”.

In 1997, under a Liberal government, Canada bought the world. In 2007, under that bunch of incompetents, the world buys Canada.

Will the Minister of Finance reverse course on income trusts and income deductibility before there is nothing left in Canada to sell?

Income TrustsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear on what we are talking about. We are talking about an area where a business was able to claim the same deduction twice. Do we know of any Canadian who thinks that is fair?

I will ask my hon. colleague opposite, an economist, if he thinks it is fair that a company can make the same deduction twice. Is that what the Liberals are trying to defend?

We need a fair tax system with lower taxes for everyone. That is exactly what this government is doing.

Income TrustsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, every time the government talks about fairness, Canadians start reaching for their wallets.

On income trusts, the government sells this sector off to foreigners: a dishonest and incompetent policy. On interest deductibility, the government makes it impossible for Canadians to compete with foreigners: a deceitful and incompetent policy. On withholding tax, the government makes it easier for foreigners to buy Canadian companies: an incompetent policy.

Can we imagine three more incompetent, deceitful policies than these, which knee-cap Canadian companies and hang a huge for sale sign on Canada?

Income TrustsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Of course, Mr. Speaker, such overblown, over the top rhetoric is completely and utterly false. If the member opposite does not believe that, he should at least listen to his own Liberal colleagues.

He should listen to Sheila Copps, who said that reversing the income trust decision “would...run afoul of espoused Liberal principles”, if they have any, “by promoting a tax loophole for a select few, financed by the rest of us”. That was said by Sheila Copps, while John Manley, former Liberal finance minister, said, “It was the right thing to do...Any day that good public policy triumphs is a good day”.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Conservative Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, today the third report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states that the world must stabilize the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by 2015 in order to keep global temperatures from rising.

The report also states that cuts in gas emissions can be achieved through the development of biofuels, increases in fuel efficiency and the use of renewable energy like solar power.

Can the Minister of the Environment tell us what Canada is doing to meet the challenge of climate change and turn the corner on greenhouse gas emissions?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, it is nice to see that members on this side of the House actually care about the environment and are making inquiries.

Canada does take issue with this international panel report, which wants to see greenhouse gases peak in the year 2015. We think that is too late. We want to see greenhouse gases peak by 2010 or 2012, so Canada will actually outperform this important international panel's work.

Also, our plan is in line with the panel's report, which believes that governments must make a real and serious attempt to reduce smog and pollution. That is what the government is doing, with a 50% cut in industrial pollution by 2015.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, this week the House of Commons took a historic vote and agreed unanimously to apologize to the survivors of the residential schools for the abuse they suffered and for being forcibly removed from their homes.

Although the apology is appreciated by survivors, some question why there is no apology from the Prime Minister, who represents the Government of Canada, which enforced the rules and supported the whole residential school system.

Why will the Prime Minister not offer an apology on behalf of the Canadian government?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, earlier this week I was very pleased, as were all members in the House, to rise and apologize on behalf of this House of Commons to the claimants of the Indian residential school era.

We are very proud to have moved very quickly with the ratification of that agreement. Of course, the Liberals claim that we are dragging our feet yet, yet from when we first sat in the House on April 4, 2006, it was not a month later that we actually finalized the agreement.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, when will the Prime Minister say he is sorry?

The intergenerational effect of residential schools is still being felt by the children today, but it is the neglect of the government that continues the legacy. There is a shortfall of $109 million per year for first nations children on reserves to receive services comparable to that for other Canadian children, to make sure that these kids have the same opportunities to live safely in their homes.

Why is the government discriminating against on reserve children?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, just last week the Minister of Indian Affairs made an important announcement in Alberta. It actually was about the Alberta model for child and family services, which looks into bringing about measures that go right to the heart of the problem in terms of prevention. It is a method that has been proven time and time again.

I would like to ask the member if perhaps she could get behind our efforts to actually bring human rights to first nations people on reserve through our Bill C-44.

EqualizationOral Questions

May 4th, 2007 / 11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the betrayal of the Atlantic accord is just another area where the government's position seems to change daily. First it told Nova Scotia that nothing had changed as a result of the budget. Then it said it is a better deal. Then it said, no, it is not a better deal, but we will give Nova Scotia a choice between the Atlantic accord and new equalization.

Now there is a new potion being brewed. While Conservative MPs are muzzled, an attempt is being made to cover up the betrayal by negotiating some new deal with the province of Nova Scotia. Why does the government not come clean, admit its betrayal, do what Nova Scotians want and deserve, and honour the Atlantic accord?

EqualizationOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Once again, Mr. Speaker, as we have seen from that member time and time again, he mixes fact and fiction. He gets up and he tries to confuse people.

What we are demonstrating clearly is what we have demonstrated all along, flexible federalism, the ability to work with the provinces, as we saw this week when the Minister of Finance travelled to Nova Scotia to meet directly with his counterpart. He spoke with him about the need to find a resolution.

We are going to continue to work with our counterparts in all the provinces to see that the fiscal imbalance is actually fixed once and for all, which is where the previous Liberal government across the way failed so miserably for 13 years.

EqualizationOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the minister is not listening to his fellow Nova Scotians. They know the Atlantic accord was torched. Conservative premiers acknowledge it, economists have validated it, Conservative candidates are running for cover, and Conservative MPs have gone underground. The finance minister is scurrying around trying to contain the damage.

There is no question that the accord was betrayed. The only question is whether the government will stop changing stories every day, stop trying to go around the deal, and honour the deal.

EqualizationOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Once again, Mr. Speaker, the facts never get in the way of that member when he wants to put his story out there, when he wants to confuse things, stir the pot, and misinform constituents and people around the province.

What we have seen time and time again from the members opposite is that they come up short when it comes to the truth. What we are seeing here is obviously an attempt to distract from the shortcomings of their time in office.

What we are seeing from this government is decisive action that treats the provinces with respect and that comes across and delivers millions more to the citizens of Nova Scotia and all provinces of this country.

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Quebec Biotechnology Innovation Centre is critical to the economic development of Laval and Quebec. Unfortunately, this organization could lose some of its federal funding. On April 28, the newspaper Le Quotidien reported that the Economic Development Agency of Canada would no longer provide operating funding for non-profit organizations.

Can the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec confirm that the centre's operating budget will not be cut?

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, I have stated several times in this House that 70% of my department's budget envelope goes to non-profit organizations that promote economic development. Some of those organizations have been with us for over 20 years, and we believe that at some point, the department's mission needs to be refocused on two things: diversification of regional economic activity in Quebec and growth of businesses, including regional businesses.

We are going to invest in what we call “applied research with business technology transfer”.

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, the decision by the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec to cut funding for non-profit organizations will also have an impact on young people in economically depressed regions of Quebec. For several years, the Centre d'entrepreneuriat et d'essaimage at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi has helped young people in the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean and North Shore region set up businesses.

Can the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec confirm that he will cut the budget for the entrepreneurship centres in Chicoutimi and Sept-Îles?

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, I repeat, of course we are going to continue supporting organizations. That is our purpose.

However, from now on, when an economically oriented organization submits a project, it must have a beginning, a middle and an end, with measurable results that must be achieved.

The money we receive does not go to the Treasury Board. It goes toward our department's real mission: to diversify regional economic activity in Quebec, which is extremely important, and to help Quebec's businesses and regions grow.

National Capital CommissionOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Bloc Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government's lack of concern toward francophones borders on contempt. After the billboards in Vimy littered with mistakes in French and the appointment of a unilingual anglophone ombudsman for victims of crime, now the minister responsible for the NCC is appointing a man who barely speaks French to head a federal agency responsible for administering the capital of a country that is supposedly bilingual.

My question is for the minister responsible for the National Capital Commission. Why appoint a unilingual anglophone to head up the NCC?

National Capital CommissionOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I was extremely pleased yesterday to stand beside my colleague, the Minister of the Environment, to announce the appointment of Mr. Mills as chairman of the board.

In front of the media and me, Mr. Mills made a firm commitment not just to improve his French, but to perfect it. He promised to represent the NCC well and with tact. We are extremely pleased with this appointment. It is a welcome appointment in the greater national capital area.

National Capital CommissionOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Bloc Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, for far too long now, NCC investments have not reflected the demographic weight of Gatineau across from Ottawa. While the population of Gatineau accounts for more than 25% of the region, it received just 17% of NCC investments between 2001 and 2005.

Does the former Gatineau city councillor and current minister responsible for the NCC intend to tolerate this situation much longer?

National Capital CommissionOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I will not comment on the period from 2001 to 2005, since it was our friends opposite who were in charge of the NCC. However, my hon. colleague, the Minister of Finance, announced in his 2007 budget, some $30 million over two years for the NCC's activities and day to day operations. That in itself is a major improvement over what we had before.